SAM COOKE - You Send Me / Summertime - Keen - 1957
I used to buy any Sam Cooke album that had 'Summertime' listed hoping to find this version of the song. Even the generic, untitled collections, the ones with every obvious hit, just on the off chance that I might finally own this version on vinyl. I really got my hopes up when I found a record with a track titled 'Summertime, Pt. 1,' but it's just the standard, greatest hits version with a little orchestration overdubbed on top. It's a cool version, but disappointing considering my expectations. (Side note: Where is 'Summertime, Pt. 2?' Does it even exist?)
Then, one day as I was digging through a dusty pile of 45's at a thrift store, I found this 45. Despite numerous disappointments before, I was pretty pumped & couldn't wait to get it onto my turntable.
Sure enough, this is the faster paced, upbeat version I had been searching for. Talk about satisfaction. Sam swings like a sonic boom. Pure gold. Sort of even makes me wish I had a soul. Or at least accurate words to sum up the heavyweight power of this seemingly airy tune. Sam slays with a grin, and luckily for all of us, this was merely a sign of what he was capable of.
I must admit though, as much as I love this version of 'Summertime,' I can't say that I prefer it over the slower, more somber, minimalistic, greatest hits version. Both are, in their own ways, absolutely flawless tunes.
Oh, and 'You Send Me' is actually the A-side. Pretty standard (and entirely enjoyable) but I think I have enough records with this song that I could listen to it repeatedly for a few hours without playing the same record twice. Being Sam's first single in the 'pop' world though, the historical value of the song is undeniable.
Luckily, Sam continued to write and record steadily, releasing an impressive collection of righteous and moving music, right up until his very untimely and confusing murder in December 11, 1964.
Strange that music from more than 50 years ago moves me far more than anything my generation can manage to burp out, huh?
On to all other things blog-related..
I have been, and still am, very reluctant to post mp3's of each 45 I review. This is mostly out of my need for convenience, since transferring vinyl onto my computer is a bit of a task. Instead I'm going to start posting mixes, or 'podcasts' or whatever the technologically-up-to-date will call them, that will have at least some of the mentioned records in them. These mixes will be recorded live from my turntables, will be strictly vinyl (primarily 45's,) and won't be cleaned up at all. I just have to figure out the details of where I'll be hosting them and exactly what format to offer them in. (One continuous mp3, or a .zip with the tracks broken up, etc.)
And finally, the blog-affirming, exciting news. I have never had delusions that anybody, at all, visited this site, but I just got my first comment from none other than Bill Gallagher, the guitar player of The Bougalieu. Click the comments of the post below this to read what he had to say. Luckily he wasn't offended that I ripped on one side of that 45. It's cool to know that anybody at all has ever read this little blog, but extra-cool when that person is responsible for something that I've chosen to write about.